My ‘big hike’ as it has been affectionately named until now, also known as ‘A Walk in the Parks’ is about to begin and I’ve had lots of questions. This page shares all the information you might need or want to know about the hike.

I will keep adding to it and if there is anything missing then please do get in touch and I am happy to tell you more.

The countdown is on… I start hiking August 19th 2023!

A walk in the parks - Jen in the Peak District National Park
Jen Lowthrop and Cookie on a walk in the parks in the Peak District

Questions about A Walk in the Parks

Why are you doing A Walk in the Parks?

Good question. I have been wanting to do a hiking challenge for a while and also wanted to raise money for the Peak District Foundation, which I have been Chair of Trustees for since the charity began 4 years ago.

I knew I wanted to do something different and something BIG, but it has taken me a while to decide what. I’m not sure where the idea came from but I love hiking, love national parks and am passionate about sharing the importance of our national parks, both to our physical and mental wellbeing, but for the planet too. A Walk in the Parks seemed the perfect challenge.

National parks contain some of the biggest carbon sinks in the UK and are vital to so many rare breeds and habitats. With June being the hottest June on record since records begun it is indisputable our climate is in crisis, and I believe in the power of our national parks to help us connect with nature and improve our climate. I want to spread that message to more people through my hike and see more people understand and experience the benefits of our beautiful national parks.

As a travel blogger for 12 years, I have reignited my love for my home country since moving back to the Peak District 6 years ago and can’t wait to explore more of our beautiful countryside.

What are you fundraising for?

I am aiming to raise £10,000 for the Peak District National Park Foundation, the charity that raises funds to support the national park I call home. The funds will go towards accessibility, wellbeing and climate change projects. Ensuring more people get to experience the benefits of visiting a national park now and for years to come.

Find more about the work the Peak District Foundation supports.

What are the 10 national parks in England?

There are a total of 15 national parks in the UK and 10 in England. I would have loved to do all 15, but 10 weeks is already a long time to have away from my businesses so I thought I would just do England for now. Maybe I will tag the Welsh and Scottish national parks on next year.

The 10 national parks in England are: Peak District, North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Northumberland, New Forest, Broads, South Downs, Exmoor and Dartmoor.

How far will you walk?

I will be walking about 10 – 20 miles a day, though it could be slightly less or slightly more. It will vary depending on the terrain, where I need to get to in order to have a bed for the night and how well my feet and Cookie’s paws are holding up!

In total it will be around 1000 miles, though might be slightly more or slightly less depending on the final route and how many times I get lost 😉

What kind of training are you doing?

Not enough! I leave in less than 6 weeks and am certainly getting nervous, but hey it’s just walking right?! I have been walking daily, increasing my mileage over the last few weeks and soon start walking with a bigger backpack on. Cookie has been in training with me too.

I have also been seeing a physio (the amazing Amanda Heading), who is also a nutritionist and has been helping prepare my aching body for 10 weeks of hiking. I am hoping I will feel better, rather than worse at the end of it, but maybe that is wishful thinking. Dreading the blisters… send any blister prevention tips my way.

A walk in the parks - Jen and Cookie in Snowdonia
A walk in the parks - Jen and Cookie in Snowdonia
A walk in the parks - Jen and Cookie in Snowdonia

Are you camping?

Generally no, I don’t plan to camp much. Mainly because I don’t think I can handle carrying a tent, sleeping bag and all the gubbins that comes with camping. However, I may camp a few nights when I am joined by friends and family.

I am mainly staying in local accommodation and have been lucky to get a few complimentary stays in exchange for reviews on my blog. If you would like to offer a complimentary stay, please do get in touch. Equally if you live in or near a national park and fancy having Cookie and I to stay in exchange for fun hiking tales then I would be forever grateful for your support.

Can I join you?

Yes! Though most of the hike I will be doing alone with my dog Cookie, I will have a few days where people can join me. I will be sharing these closer to the time so keep your eyes peeled on my website and social media if you would like to join me for the day.

How are you paying for the adventure?

As in the above question I have received a few complimentary stay and am still hoping I might get a few invites (pretty please). Otherwise I have saved up for a long time for the adventure and am self funding it, so every penny I raise will be going straight to the Peak District Foundation.

10 national parks, 10 weeks, 1000 miles and £10,000 fundraising target

Find out more about a walk in the parks

Jen and Cookie on a walk in the Peak District
Cheap days out from Matlock for under £40